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Civil War Blog

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Popular Men’s Names of the Civil War (Part 1 of 3)

Posted By on June 18, 2012

What were the most popular given names during the Civil War period? This is the first part of a three part study of that question. Today we will look a the most popular men’s names of U.S. men born during the period 1811-1850, the broad period that made up the vast majority of Civil War Soldiers. We will also look at the most common boy’s names of babies born during the civil war (1861-1865) and compare that with the most popular boy’s names from 2011, 150 years later. 

Part 2 of the series will focus on Women’s names of the same period, and is scheduled to be published July 2. Part 3 will take a look a the names on the Lykens Valley soliders list to see which names were most popular locally. Part 3 is scheduled to be published on July 30. 

The following tables are taken from the website http://www.galbithink.org/names/us200.htm which took data from the 1850 Census and analyzed the most popular male names. Shown are the top 10 in each category for the decades including 1811-1850, since virtually all Civil War Veterans were born during that period.

Born 1811-1820
41-50 at start of Civil War (1861)
  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Samuel
  6. Thomas
  7. Joseph
  8. Henry
  9. Charles
  10. David

Born 1821-1830
31-40 at start of Civil War (1861)
  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Thomas
  6. Henry
  7. Charles
  8. Joseph
  9. Samuel
  10. Daniel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born 1831- 1840
21-30 at start of Civil War (1861)
  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Charles
  6. Thomas
  7. Henry
  8. Joseph
  9. Samuel
  10. David

 

Born 1841-1850
11- 20 at start of Civil War (1861)
  1. John
  2. William
  3. James
  4. George
  5. Charles
  6. Henry
  7. Thomas
  8. Joseph
  9. Samuel
  10. Robert

Notice there is very little difference among the lists. And of the babies born during the Civil War, note that the only major difference is the appearance of the name Frank.

Born During Civil War
1861-1865
  1. John
  2. William
  3. Charles
  4. James
  5. George
  6. Frank
  7. Henry
  8. Thomas
  9. Joseph
  10. Edward

As a comparison, here is the top 10 list of boy babies name born in the U.S. in 2011:

Born 2011
150 years after start of Civil War
  1. Jacob
  2. Mason
  3. William
  4. Jayden
  5. Noah
  6. Michael
  7. Ethan
  8. Alexander
  9. Aiden
  10. Daniel

 

To see the complete list of boy first names form the 1850 Census ranked by popularity, visit: http://www.galbithink.org/names/us200.htm

To explore more first names form the whole 19th Century, visit the site Antique Baby Names

 


Comments

5 Responses to “Popular Men’s Names of the Civil War (Part 1 of 3)”

  1. Bethany Hawk says:

    Hello, My name is Bethany. I’m a writer, and I’m currently writing a book that takes place in the Confedreate era, any tips or things you’d expect in a book that takes place during this time?

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